DSI-NRF sponsored vehicle to boost UFH Risk and Vulnerability Science Centre’s research initiatives

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Pictured (in front) : Dr. Leocadia Zhou, Director - Risk and Vulnerability Science Centre (UFH-RVSC)

The University of Fort Hare’s Risk and Vulnerability Science Centre (UFh-RVSC) is proud to announce the acquisition of a new vehicle that was generously sponsored by the Department of Science and Innovation and the National Research Foundation (DSI-NRF).

According to the centre’s Director, Dr Leocadia Zhou, the vehicle will go a long way in supporting UFH-RVSC’s research initiatives for the benefit of resource-poor communities in the Eastern Cape and other provinces in South Africa.

“The donated vehicle will guarantee meaningful engagement of communities that are adversely impacted by wide-ranging stressors exampled by climate change-driven extreme events and pandemics like COVID-19 and HIV-AIDS.”

The UFH-RVSC located on the Alice campus is one of five centres that were initiated by the DSI-NRF at South African Universities in 2011 as flagship entities under the Global Change Research Plan's (GCRP) framework to direct global change research investments in South Africa. 

The four other centres are located at the University of Limpopo, Walter Sisulu University, University of Sol Plaatjie and the University of Free State.  The RVSCs receive a three-year annual cycle funding from the DSI-NRF to achieve the following mandates:

  1. Contribute to Human Capital Development on issues of climate change through postgraduate student development, staff development, internship and research collaborations with relevant stakeholders;
  2. Generate up-to-date data and information for key sectors to support strategy development and decision-making in areas of risk and vulnerability, thereby supporting South Africa's transition to a resilient future;
  3. Provide information for the South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas that will effectively bridge the gap between science and policy through improved access to information and;
  4. Provide risk and vulnerability assessment services to local communities and other users.  

The UFH-RVSC is managed by the Director and supported by a Senior Researcher, Post-Doctoral Research Fellows, research assistants and an intern.

Dr Zhou thanked the DSI-NRF on behalf of the centre and the University at large. “I would like to take this opportunity to commend DSI-NRF’s unwavering support by noting that this is just the beginning of an enduring partnership that will yield substantial benefits for society.”

“With UFH-RVSC’s strategic positioning in Eastern Cape Province, there is no room to doubt that DSI-NRF will not regret extending and beefing up the support they have been giving and continue to provide to UFH-RVSC. The brand-new vehicle generously provided by DSI-NRF comes at the right time when our resources were getting thinly spread to a point where it was becoming increasingly difficult for us to deliver on our research mandate,” said Dr Zhou.